The Passaic County Food Policy Council is a coalition that believes ‘what gets measured, gets done.’ When we wrote our Building a Culture of Health: Blueprint for Action, we thought a lot about how to craft strategies in the four focus areas of Healthy Food Access, Economic Opportunity, Access to Clinical Care, and Community Safety that would have clear, measurable impact.
One of our challenges has been that we did not have access to city- and neighborhood- level data on the drivers of health and well-being. We were excited to have Shoshanna Levine, DrPH from the City Health Dashboard / NYU School of Medicine present at our January coalition meeting. Almost 50 partners came together to learn more about how to use data to drive change in our communities.
City Health Dashboard is a website that has information on the 500 largest cities in the US including three cities in Passaic County: Paterson City, Passaic City, and Clifton. It includes risk factors and outcomes to measure population health at the city- and census tract-level. Our partners really appreciated the in-person tutorial and having the opportunity to ask questions along the way! Check out City Health Dashboard here
We learned how to navigate the website to access the information, and discussed how to use the data to steer our efforts and measure our impact. One of our partners, the Clifton Department of Health, is utilizing data from City Health Dashboard as part of its Community Health Needs Assessment. We also discussed how accessing local data can be a tool for advocating for change at the municipal level.
For more information about the Building a Culture of Health: Blueprint for Action in Passaic County please contact Mary Celis, Director of Health Initiatives, United Way of Passaic County: email@example.com or visit our Facebook page: @PassaicFood.